Albertsons’s (NYSE:ACI), which is awaiting regulator approval for its planned $25 billion sale to Kroger (NYSE:KR), fell 1.1% as Amazon (AMZN) and iRobot (IRBT) agreed to mutually terminate their deal amid regulator pushback.
Investors have been waiting for months for the Federal Trade Commission to decide if it will allow or if theyt plan to sue to block the supermarket megadeal. M&A investors are also likely concerned after a federal judge earlier this month
blocked JetBlue’s (JBLU) planned purchase of Spirit Airlines (SAVE) after the Justice Deptarmet sued to scuttle the deal.
Earlier this month Washington State Attorney General filed a lawsuit to block the merger of grocery chains Kroger (KR) and Albertsons (ACI), confirming an earlier report, The suit argued that the $25B deal would raise prices and hurt consumers.
Earlier this month Axios Pro reported that the FTC isn’t likely to decide until next month on whether it will challenge the Albertsons (ACI) deal in court. The FTC has a timing agreement with Kroger (KR) and Albertsons that expires in February.
In November, Kroger (KR) certified with the FTC that the merger substantially complies with antitrust laws. This triggered a 60-day timeline for which the FTC would either accept the deal or challenge it. If the FTC failed to decide by Jan. 13, the deadline can be moved forward by 30-day increments.
The deal faces stiff resistance from not only the FTC, but from state attorneys general, members of Congress, and even the Teamsters union who urged the FTC to block the $25B merger amid concerns that the union of the two would stifle competition and lead to job cuts.